A Group Hug

  • Post category:Blog / General

So there I was, happily minding my own business, engrossed in Doctor Who – having missed it on Saturday for the first time in years, I might add – drinking my tea and feeling generally contented with the world. Vaguely, I thought I may have heard Benedict Cumberbatch’s delightfully gorgeous voice coming from somewhere within my handbag but I was too busy watching Peter Capaldi to pay much attention. (Only Doctor Who can distract me from Sherlock. And vice versa. Odd isn’t it?) Anyway, DH in his wisdom, decided that he needed to do something – don’t ask me what. No really, don’t – so he put the television on pause while he went off to do it. Honestly, aren’t men rude? If I’d done that when he was watching one of his endlessly dreary programmes about fishing or, God forbid, a Liverpool or Hull City match, then I’d have been for it. But because he’s who he is and I’m who I am, I merely sipped my tea and stared at The Doctor, frozen in motion on my screen, and then remembered that I’d thought I’d heard my phone going off.

Yes, my phone. You see, Benedict Cumberbatch doesn’t really live in my handbag. I have a message alert on my mobile which is Sherlock saying, in an extremely  sexy manner, “Because I took your pulse…” It’s to do with Irene Adler, “The Woman”, and if you’re a Sherlock fan you’ll get the reference and if you’re not you won’t care, so enough of that. Anyway, I took my phone out and checked to see if I had indeed had a text message. And I had. And I also had quite a few pings from messenger. The message was from my pal Julie, aka Jessica Redland, urging me to get on Facebook immediately because my presence was requested by The Write Romantics.

I had a bit of a wobble. I was pretty sure I hadn’t done anything wrong. And they’d approved my anthology story. Hadn’t they? Anyway, I went on Facebook and found a whole string of comments waiting for me. It was a bit like Mork and Mindy. You remember? Perhaps you don’t. Perhaps I’m the only one old enough to recall the late Robin Williams’ zany sitcom from the seventies, in which he played alien Mork who, at the end of each episode, would stand in the spotlight droning, “Earth calling Orson. Come in Orson.” Crikey, what on earth am I rambling on about now? Oh well, back to the story.

So anyway, I assured them that I was present and correct and they immediately issued me with an amazing invitation. Would I like to become the tenth Write Romantic? There was total silence. No one messaged anyone. When I finally came round and picked myself up from the floor, there was a sudden flurry of, ‘Is she still there?’ ‘Should we be worried?’ ‘Is this a bad sign?’

When I’d assured them that it wasn’t a bad sign, they needn’t worry and I was definitely still there but had been unconscious on the ground for a short while, the celebrations began. I couldn’t believe it. Me, a Write Romantic!

The thing is, I’ve thought for a long time that being part of a group such as this is the way to go. There are several around and I honestly think they’re an incredible source of support, reassurance, guidance and friendship. Writing, as I’ve said many times, can be lonely. It’s just you and your computer or notebook. You don’t really know if what you’re writing is any good, and even if you can find someone to assure you that you’re on the right track, what do you do then? It’s not easy to move on. You have to research agents, publishers, the market. You have to find someone willing to take a chance on your novel. If you’re going to indie publish you need to find a reliable editor, proof-reader, cover designer, formatter, or at least find someone who can show you how to do some or all of those things yourself. You need someone to cheer you up when you’ve been rejected, cheer you on when you’ve been signed up…basically you need some good mates who are willing to be honest, encouraging, informative and relentlessly optimistic when you’re just about ready to throw it all in, delete your blog and Facebook account, change your name to Mavis and slink away never to be heard of again.

I’ve come across a few such groups the last couple of years – The New Romantics 4, Novelistas Ink,  and The Romaniacs to name just three. It always struck me that they were very lucky to have each other. I never imagined that, one day, I’d be part of such a group.

The Write Romantics are a lovely bunch of ladies and they’ve made me so very welcome. I’m very excited about what will happen next. I’ve been thrilled to hear the good things that have been happening for them lately and I’m very optimistic that I’ll have my own exciting news to reveal before much longer. My writing journey so far has been challenging, interesting, and above all, fun. I’m so happy that the next part of it will be in the company of such a talented group of women.

Thank you, ladies, for inviting me into your world, and I hope I won’t let you down. xx

Now, where was I? Oh yes, The Doctor. Good grief, that’s a very unflattering position he’s been frozen in! Where’s that blooming remote?

Have a great week xx